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Shooting of motorist justified by authorities

2:16 pm April 18th, 2013

Pierce County authorities have concluded that a county Sheriff Department deputy acted properly when he shot and killed a motorist on State Route 702 last October.
Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist said the death of Wayne E. Craddock, 50, was a justifiable homicide. 
“Mr. Craddock pointed a handgun at the deputy,” said Lindquist. “His actions at the time of the shooting, as well as prior to the shooting, indicate another sad case of suicide-by-cop.”
Lindquist made his comments last week following independent investigations by his office, the medical examiner and the Sheriff Department into the incident involving deputy Martin Zurfluh.
On Oct. 12, Craddock, a Yelm resident, was driving a truck westbound on SR-702 near the intersection of 64th Avenue South when he drew the attention of Zurfluh, who checked records and learned Craddock was the owner of the truck and that his driver license was suspended.
Zurfluh stopped the truck and ordered Craddock to out of it. Craddock initially complied, then abruptly got back into the truck. He was agitated and verbally aggressive, the deputy reported.
Authorities said Zurfluh spoke to Craddock from a safe distance, asking him to calm down. Instead, Craddock got out of his vehicle and pointed a handgun toward Zurfluh. The deputy, fearing for his own safety, fired his weapon several times, striking Craddock in the head and upper body.  Craddock fell to the ground and was died dead at the scene from the gunshot wounds, authorities said.
Detectives later found a fully loaded .45-caliber handgun near Craddock’s body. 
Authorities also said:
• Before the shooting, a witness at the scene heard the deputy say, “’Come on now, buddy. You don’t want to do this.’” 
• Other witnesses indicated that they had spoken with Craddock earlier in the day and Craddock complained about his financial situation, appeared upset, and said, “’I’ve had it. If I get pulled over, I’ve got my gun. This is it.’” 
According to the medical examiner Dr. Thomas Clark, Craddock was intoxicated at the time of his death.

One Response to Shooting of motorist justified by authorities

  1. Eric Watson Reply

    April 20, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    No one should have to have a license to drive. The rirst license for a vehicle, I believe was in 1909 for Henry Ford as his vehicle was very loud and disturbed the peace. The license was permitting Henry Ford to drive his noisy vehicle through town. Again, the license was because the vehicle was so noisy it disturbed the peace. Now vehicles are quiet and do not disturbe the peace. Also, no one had a license to ride a horse on a public right of way road. So why should anyone have to have a drivers license? Oh yeah, so the government makes money and its ok for cops to shoot innocent people for driving on a suspended. Oh, the cop could have mailed the guy a ticket instead of killing the guy. The court would have made some money from the ticket and housed another man for another government grant. Our system is really messed up.

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